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46th San Francisco International Film Festival at PFA

Friday, April 25, 2003
Bahman Ghobadi Iran, 2002

(Avazhayé sarzaminé madariyam). Ghobadi's (A Time for Drunken Horses) new film follows the misadventures of three Kurdish musicians during the Iran-Iraq war. Hitting the road on a sidecar motorbike, they head for the border, stopping for a bit of slapstick, a song, a tangle with bandits. Ghobadi skillfully spins together the real and absurd, making careful political points along the way, as the hapless trio makes its way deeper into an increasingly desolate landscape of wandering refugees and bombed-out villages. A richly humane film shows a talented filmmaker taking chances and broadening his scope to entertaining and sharp effect.

—Steve Mockus

• Written by Ghobadi. Photographed by Saeed Nikzad. With Shabab Ebrahimi, Allah-morad Rashtian, Faegh Mohammadi, Ghobadi. (110 mins)